Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

F-Line to Dudley

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West Med ridership is going to empty out bigtime when MVP station opens. The north region bus reboot will ensure that, as routes are reapportioned around GLX. The CR frequency increases won't counteract the siphon enough with new ridership to merit any superstation in Medford. 6-min. inbound headway behind fare control to all line transfers beats 15 min. outside fare control every time when fares are concerned.

Keep in mind, Haverhill interlining may necessitate that an emptied-out West Med and superfluous Wedgemere get served @ 30-min. only turns for the sake of speeding up Haverhill and/or adding more key infill stops out in 495-land. 15 mins. may only be seen on the Winch Ctr. to Wilmington double-up where it matters the most since MVP + bus optimization puts such a one-way siphon on West Med's + Wedgemere's future ridership ceilings.

While the heft of Waltham bus terminal is a point in favor of a GLX'd Porter superstation (but NOT Union...no Red+77 leaves Union an order of magitude short on demand), there isn't really a driver for that in Medford because of the way audiences will modally part ways after MVP is built.
 

jass

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Since the Green Line also goes to North Station there isn't much of a point of transferring.
There is for people coming from the north and needing to access a green line station. Transferring at NS would add a ton of time.

In an ideal world, the green line would keep running north with a transfer north of Winchester (and those CR stations eliminated).
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I've always wondered if it made sense to move the CR stop to College Ave and extend the GR to West Medford. West Medford loses direct CR access but gains greater frequency from the GL. CR moves to Tufts, which would logically seem like a bigger regional draw than West Medford, though I don't know how big of a reach Tufts has/needs.
Don't wonder. The only reason GLX-West Med kept the CR station in the original '05 plan was because GLX stubbed out south of the grade crossing leaving the CR platform physically untouched. It would've been a ham-fisted transfer across a busy street, and CR ridership would've emptied out so completely it likely would've become a skip candidate on lots of schedules...basically retained as flag stop solely from the ease of not having to physically destroy the CR platform from any construction.

GLX proved unworkable here because the south-of-crossing stub would've been extremely cramped. NIMBY's played a role, but there were also lots of real substantive concerns about managing pedestrian swells so it was hardly anyone's idea of an ace design. However, project forward to full grade separation of West Med and nobody envisions any superstation there...it's straight quad-track trench, Green-only station eats CR station.


It's a false equivalency that you *MUST* have an outer line transfer because reasons. Demand doesn't cut that way in every instance, and this is a corridor that doesn't show that math at anywhere near critical mass.
 

jass

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It's a false equivalency that you *MUST* have an outer line transfer because reasons. Demand doesn't cut that way in every instance, and this is a corridor that doesn't show that math at anywhere near critical mass.
Demand is zero because the option doesnt exist. People might be more willing to change where they live if the option is available.

That being said, the Lowell Line isnt a hotbed of housing construction. Quite the opposite actually. Thats needed as well.

HYPOTHETICALLY, if Winchester was full of bustling new apartments, someone might want to take CR to West Medford, transfer to the GL, and get off at Tufts for work or study.

More likely in the real world, someone might live in Somerville, and want to reverse commute to 128. They could take GL north to West Medford, trasnfer, and get off at 128 to board their office shuttle.

But yeah, shouldnt be a priority at all. Much better oppertunities elsewhere in the system for that kind of connections (like Blue Line to Lynn)
 

Smuttynose

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Demand is zero because the option doesnt exist. People might be more willing to change where they live if the option is available.

That being said, the Lowell Line isnt a hotbed of housing construction. Quite the opposite actually. Thats needed as well.

HYPOTHETICALLY, if Winchester was full of bustling new apartments, someone might want to take CR to West Medford, transfer to the GL, and get off at Tufts for work or study.

More likely in the real world, someone might live in Somerville, and want to reverse commute to 128. They could take GL north to West Medford, trasnfer, and get off at 128 to board their office shuttle.

But yeah, shouldnt be a priority at all. Much better oppertunities elsewhere in the system for that kind of connections (like Blue Line to Lynn)
I may have to commute into Lowell certain days of the week so I was just scoping it out to see if it would be possible to hop on the Lowell line from the Davis area. Taking the GL all the way to North Station wouldn't make any sense, so it looks like my best bet would be to bike to West Medford, or to just drive.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I may have to commute into Lowell certain days of the week so I was just scoping it out to see if it would be possible to hop on the Lowell line from the Davis area. Taking the GL all the way to North Station wouldn't make any sense, so it looks like my best bet would be to bike to West Medford, or to just drive.
The 94 already hits West Medford out of Davis for direct transfer en route to Medford Square. Only takes 20 minutes end-to-end, so the dropoff @ West Med is a spiffy dozen minutes. Brisk headways, too. Normally 20-minute churn when it's a regular schedule, though the current COVID recovery schedule seems to alternate at 25 & 35 mins. for some reason.

That'll become a substantially more important route post-GLX by serving up such a brisk multi-modal circulator hitting RL-Davis, GL-College Ave., GL-MVP, and CR-West Med. Enough so that where today it's a hidden gem for making the reverse-commute transfer outbound it'll be promoted more prominently for that purpose and others after GLX remakes the landscape. You'll likely see the 94's Davis-Powder House Sq. + Boston Ave. base form a multi-route spine that proliferates in route variety forks to Arlington, Winchester, Medford Sq., and Wellington/Malden with a lot more choose-your-adventure flavoring than today's relatively short roster of Davis or Sullivan routes. And those bus enhancements will be one of the reasons that CR demand at stops inbound of Winchester is largely going to vacate to other modes and not be backfilled by RUR/Urban Rail as much as the new GLX-driven modal landscape empties it out. There's very little juice for a superstation when fast/frequent trips like the 94 are the template for further route variety that serves the need way better.
 
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Wash

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Might be popping down to the project site on Wednesday; are there any bits of this project that people want pictures of?
 

Arlington

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Some places I have not viewed it from:

1) between Lechmere and the split from Water Street (as viaduct passes over)?

2) around the McGrath highway bridge at brick bottom

3) Washington St, E. somerville, & the freight line redo in the inner belt area
 

Vagabond

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Might be popping down to the project site on Wednesday; are there any bits of this project that people want pictures of?
Some good vantage points I've seen

School Street footbridge for seeing how much earthwork was done next to the new Somerville high School

Check out Inner Belt road for the track split and viaducts.
 

BostonTrainGuy

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Someone elsewhere posted pics of BO-1 shoving back all the way from Tower A to Everett. I can't tell from the map images due to the overhead highway but does anyone know if when that "new" connection that parallels New Washington Street is operational would it be possible to run directly (engine forward) from that connection to Everett or Haverhill? Does it just go to Yard 21? I just can't tell.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Someone elsewhere posted pics of BO-1 shoving back all the way from Tower A to Everett. I can't tell from the map images due to the overhead highway but does anyone know if when that "new" connection that parallels New Washington Street is operational would it be possible to run directly (engine forward) from that connection to Everett or Haverhill? Does it just go to Yard 21? I just can't tell.
At least prior to GLX it wasn't thru-and-thru as the northbound wye narrowly missed the crossover for hitting the outbound Eastern/Western. It required throwing it in reverse for a scant few dozen feet...which isn't operationally a big deal. Here's Street View from the Cambridge St. overpass looking in basically the opposite direction of the photo. The freight cars obscure the switches much like the PAR locomotive in the BO-1 photo obscures the switches. But you can see the slight discrepancy from Street View where the northbound wye track misses the crossover. And that's because of the placement of the Orange Line viaduct (which the loco in the photo is sitting directly under) and where it starts inclining down to Cambridge St. and the Sullivan platform. Now...this little hiccup of a backup move is all on the tracks behind BET so fouls zero commuter traffic and has enough staff eyes watching it to only take a couple minutes. Non-consequential for most ops in this very busy area as doesn't affect Purple Line and doesn't put any tangible time stress on freight jobs (as before...PAR racks up its stoopidest waste in crew hours with half-assed switching practices in Peabody/Everett, or being habitually late at starting the train in the first place). Biggest ops impact is that when the Innerbelt track is in-use for these shoves the Innerbelt Rd. grade crossing may be occupied for extended period with a long train.


Now...there's supposed to be mitigation on-tap for the ops demerits here. The severed wraparound track through ex- Yard 8 and the backside of BET is allegedly being provisioned by GLX construction for an easy reconnect so the less-capable Innerbelt track with its problematic grade crossing or the current reverse-a-thon on the front side of BET aren't necessary and they can re-gain their old ability to run a max-length 92-car freight the grade-separated way with an idling spot (just not overnight parking) between commuter slots. But no GLX project docs show any of that because it's too obscure to be of public interest, and Keolis employees themselves are maddeningly in the dark (as Dave/GP40MC will attest) about what the final-final plan is going to be. It's also possible to reconfigure the area by the Orange Line viaduct to allow straight-thru running with a radical enough track reconfig if all else fails, but they haven't gotten that far ahead of themselves.

The Innerbelt track, which has been out-of-service for years, needs to be reanimated any which way as a reliever because the truss bridge that carries the Lowell Line over the BET backside tracks is due for imminent replacement. Meaning that the big daily Boston Sand & Gravel freight will need to temporarily start using the Innerbelt connection + southbound wye during bridge construction to get to/from BS&G's siding...for a year or so until the new bridge is finished and they can revert back to going straight thru to BS&G via the mainline. So it was going to be fully rehabbed into service any which way for that GLX-unrelated bridge replacement project, regardless of what final post-GLX config belatedly got decided. Needing to do that any which way lets them take a big punt on being clear about final decisions about track config minutia. Annoying, but not big-time consequential. And kind of moot now that PAR's up for-sale. I can't imagine a new buyer coming in, taking one look at the confusion here, and being OK with the fact that PAR was seemingly OK with the fact that it had no friggging clue what the endgame was. New buyer will probably point-blank it: "GLX team said here, here, and here that the old fluid wraparound access could be restored, right? Make it so; we have no interest in putting up with that excess-reverses slop." Final answer will get neatly tied in a bow where until now there's been zero urgency to bottom-line it.
 
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BostonTrainGuy

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Thanks for that info F-Line. So you are saying that the loop track through old Yard 8 will possibly be reconnected? That is the first I have heard of this. I thought this New Washington Street track was their way of replacing it. Interesting. Do the squeaky wheels at Brickbottom know?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Thanks for that info F-Line. So you are saying that the loop track through old Yard 8 will possibly be reconnected? That is the first I have heard of this. I thought this New Washington Street track was their way of replacing it. Interesting. Do the squeaky wheels at Brickbottom know?
GLX team says there's a means of reconnecting the loop track. That's a huge bone of contention/confusion with Keolis who are totally in-the-dark on how exactly that would be done and why exactly that's an optional commitment when it would save so much trouble. Keolis arguably has the most at-stake for ensuring most fluid possible freight ops through BET now that overnight parking has been severely constrained, so it's problematic that they've been totally sidelined a seat at the table from Day 1 on all things related to the GLX carhouse. But given the fact that the project team have put themselves on-record multiple times saying reconnection is possible, they are implicitly on-the-hook for finding a way if/when PAR's successor calls in the favor that it be promptly done. So odds are very likely they're going to have to show the proof, because any not-PAR carrier isn't going to be satisfied with the status quo and will make a matter-of-fact argument to MassDOT that their interest in driving biz increases @ Everett Terminal and to the Massport Charlestown & Eastie tracks is contingent on being able to run forward around BET without hacks. So I don't think in the end this is going to be any big deal. It's just been very bizarre and passive-aggressive intra-agency communication that Purple Line/Keolis has been blackballed like this on a direct impact that near-and-dear to their nerve center.


The Brickbottomites should by all manner of logic be thrilled with this footnote, because it means that after the temporary interregnum with the Lowell Line bridge replacement that the Innerbelt Rd. grade crossing won't be regularly blocked for minutes at a time on daily freight schedules. It'll basically revert to being the fail-safe backup route and quick scoot for on-demand work equipment moves that it should've been maintained to all along. But given what level of cray-cray is behavioral baseline for the shrill Brickbottomites, anything and everything good/bad/neutral is going to be responded to with nuthin' but histrionics. Because that's the caricature the neighborhood has self-adopted for itself. They're incapable of not playing up to their rep. At least we know that up-front, and in this particular case they have zero leverage to say boo about it. Just let 'em cry themselves to sleep once more and business will proceed as usual.
 

RandomWalk

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The erratic installation of noise wall panels confuses me. They seem to install a random set of panels one day, and then demobilize for months.
 

the wild rover

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The 94 already hits West Medford out of Davis for direct transfer en route to Medford Square. Only takes 20 minutes end-to-end, so the dropoff @ West Med is a spiffy dozen minutes. Brisk headways, too. Normally 20-minute churn when it's a regular schedule, though the current COVID recovery schedule seems to alternate at 25 & 35 mins. for some reason.

That'll become a substantially more important route post-GLX by serving up such a brisk multi-modal circulator hitting RL-Davis, GL-College Ave., GL-MVP, and CR-West Med. Enough so that where today it's a hidden gem for making the reverse-commute transfer outbound it'll be promoted more prominently for that purpose and others after GLX remakes the landscape. You'll likely see the 94's Davis-Powder House Sq. + Boston Ave. base form a multi-route spine that proliferates in route variety forks to Arlington, Winchester, Medford Sq., and Wellington/Malden with a lot more choose-your-adventure flavoring than today's relatively short roster of Davis or Sullivan routes. And those bus enhancements will be one of the reasons that CR demand at stops inbound of Winchester is largely going to vacate to other modes and not be backfilled by RUR/Urban Rail as much as the new GLX-driven modal landscape empties it out. There's very little juice for a superstation when fast/frequent trips like the 94 are the template for further route variety that serves the need way better.
F-line just trying to make sure I understand the GL-CR transfer question because I know this has been discussed by you in previous threads and I’m still not clear. Are you saying even if some Lowell line riders from, say, Billerica need to get to Tufts, there aren’t enough of them to justify a transfer station further out and the few of them can transfer at North Station, OR that they will get off at an inner LL station like west med and take a bus to Tufts, and that THAT is the solution to the transfer station question because bus frequencies will be robust enough post GLX to make it their best option? Or some combo of the two?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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F-line just trying to make sure I understand the GL-CR transfer question because I know this has been discussed by you in previous threads and I’m still not clear. Are you saying even if some Lowell line riders from, say, Billerica need to get to Tufts, there aren’t enough of them to justify a transfer station further out and the few of them can transfer at North Station, OR that they will get off at an inner LL station like west med and take a bus to Tufts, and that THAT is the solution to the transfer station question because bus frequencies will be robust enough post GLX to make it their best option? Or some combo of the two?
Yes. The buses will suffice because the 94 already has good frequencies and friggin' awesome travel times as is to MVP/College Ave. and Davis, and after GLX opens the North region will be subject to a Better Bus revamp which is likely to further proliferate the route options.

Potential route adds would include:
  • Davis-Winchester -- mashup of the 94 to West Med + 95/134 to Wedgemere and Winchester Ctr.
  • Alewife-MVP-Wellington -- "CTx" flavored express route on Route 16 for rapid Red/Green/Orange transfers hitting Medford Sq. and maybe a quasi-loop of West Med en route. Scalable to bona fide BRT featuring, with possible east extension to Chelsea superstation once there's enough road improvements (Alewife-Mass Ave. busways, 93 interchange flow improvements, etc.).
  • Malden-West Med/MVP-Davis -- mash-up of 101 + 94, also a line-transfer special but with pipe to the huge Malden Ctr. bus terminal and Reading Line Urban Rail. MC has incredibly weak coverage to the west for such a huge bus terminal, with only the 101 crossing Fellsway at all. Entice a big transfer anchor and you can fill this crucial missing link with lots of new proliferation.
  • Arlington Ctr.-MVP-Malden -- 80 + 94/101 variant providing Arlington with a radial to Orange. They're well-covered into Red and GLX with the 77/79/80 but bafflingly still can't get on the other side of the nearby Mystic River without an excruciating backtrack from Downtown Crossing. The alt-flavor that doubles-up the GLX transfer serves the critical mass.
Many other potential combos if you play tinker toys with the route pieces that hit the rail termini in-and-around the MA 16 corridor. The equipment cycles will then be able to match this new proliferation around the rail transfers by tidying up the routes that are now going to be largely duplicated by GLX inbound. The current layout gets a little stringy as routes originating in Sullivan or Lechmere pingpong around to either hit Union or stretch themselves between Broadway and Medford St. The on-street buses will still serve a hyper-local purpose much like the 77/77A on Mass Ave. between Harvard and Porter fills a density niche the Red Line doesn't...but there will be considerable route simplifying, less circuitous loopage, and less split-the-difference routing half-measures (e.g. a lot less route spaghetti making off-alignment Union diversions). In addition to much faster runs because of the vacated crowds. That in turn serves up the bandwidth to shift focus near 16 and the rail termini where there's the crying need for more radial infill.

It'll be a very different and more dynamic Yellow Line spider map when that happens. So as far as reverse-commute Lowell Line connectivity goes we aren't talking just "good enough" replacement-level bus service for some mythical would-be rail superstation that doesn't have enough demand to merit its build costs. It'll actually be outright really flat-out good transit...in large part because the spanning of Red-Green-Orange with an array of radials serves up choose-your-adventure flex that just doesn't exist today. You wouldn't get an equivalent boost out of a Green-Purple superstation with loss-leadery low transfer ridership if that pricey brick-and-mortar expense forced you to rationalize down the number of new radial services you'd be able to offer instead. As growth vectors go, they're chasing the highest-leverage targets by staying the course on the Mystic Valley Parkway commitment then cracking the nut wide open on service-side spanning enhancements.
 
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BostonTrainGuy

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GLX team says there's a means of reconnecting the loop track . . . .
Well is there any way that "Yard 8" (i.e., a second track) could come back too?

BTW - I did check the latest imagery on Zoom and it sure looks like they have left room for the loop track just north of the new Greenline ramp to Union Square. Have to wait to see if the bridge to the maintenance facility is going to allow the same.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Well is there any way that "Yard 8" (i.e., a second track) could come back too?

BTW - I did check the latest imagery on Zoom and it sure looks like they have left room for the loop track just north of the new Greenline ramp to Union Square. Have to wait to see if the bridge to the maintenance facility is going to allow the same.
Very unlikely, because in the GLX Technical Specs the T talks about increasing the side clearances on any GLX-altered freight tracks (presumably for enhanced safety margin of employees in the ROW). It's in one of the 500-page PDF's of contractor docs on the bottom of the T-hosted GLX project homepage under "Awarded Contracts". The specs are clear about the contractor being required to do that; it just unfortunately doesn't include any mention or helpful map of where exactly those enhanced side clearance specs will be applied. So, still scratching heads in the same maddening info gap we've been dealing with all along at locating any firm renders of what the hell is going on around BET. But given how narrow a fit 2 tracks would've been in that space, it's almost certainly not going to work if they need to buff out the side room for employee access to walk along the side of the train (e.g. open up and check individual cars, etc.).

They did not have to do any of that specs adherence for the recent in-situ rehab jobs to the Yard 21 leads or the Innerbelt connection (which swerves tightly around the new dog park) because those are still residual Pan Am rights holds that the carrier never gave up and never stopped continuously using in bits/pieces despite some out-of-service breaks over their full lengths. Yard 8 rights were full-on abandoned by Pan Am in the big land swap for the Old Lechmere Station parcel a decade ago, time-bombed to take effect now at this stage of GLX construction. That's another part of the confusion about the wraparound. The provision was offered back by I.O.U.'s from the T years ago...but because the legacy freight rights were sunset a reconnection would be an entirely 'new' rights sign-on built to the landlord's modern clearance specs. Nobody's told the T's own Commuter Rail workers if PAR has picked up the I.O.U. on the reconnection or what changes ops-wise with it given the convoluted 'on-again/off-again/on-again' rights status.

Still...because they went out and offered it in the first place any/all new buyers for Pan Am are going to demand it as a formality for commiting to sustained/increased business in the Boston area. Regardless of how squishily or not the I.O.U. was originally worded or how little PAR was paying attention at the time...that's a very small detail the state is amply incentivized for getting off on the right foot with their newer/bigger/more ambitious freight co-tenant to-be. There's not a chance they won't oblige in the end.
 
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